Archive for January, 2008

MI ::One Long Day::

Posted in Michigan with tags , , , , on Friday, January 25, 2008 by dragonsvamp

Friday the 18th turned out to be such a long, long day for me. Even though we only had half day at school, all faculty have to stay until the normal finishing time, which is half past two.

The sixth graders at the school were putting on a play about the life of Moses and one of the girls had begged me the whole week before to stick around and watch it. I decided I would and since there was only an hour and a half left before it would start, I figured I’d just hang around the school and help out with preparations as well as work on editing the progress reports of my students. There was no point going home for a little over an hour and then come back. Just a waste of gas if you ask me and so I stuck around.

Add to that the fact that I was fasting to honor the day of when God split the sea for Moses and gave the Israelites their escape. This event just happened to fall on this same day. And so I haven’t eaten and I haven’t had anything to drink since the night before. I don’t really get hungry on the days I fast but I do get tired. Ever so exhausted and drained and that’s how I felt during the early afternoon hours.

I was so worn out and yet the option of going home and just chilling out for the rest of the evening was definitely no option. I didn’t even consider it as such.

A day packed to me is a day that is never wasted because no matter how much of the things you might be doing might be time wasting or pointless, you’ll always at least come across one thing that you did that made the day worth it. And, therefore, to me a day that is full to the brim with activities and events is one that you’ll go home feeling refreshed; especially that is if those things you were up and about doing during the day were things you were passionate about.

To me Friday was this day.

I didn’t get to see all of the play. I was helping out in keeping everything going smoothly. It ended before the hour was up and then there was dinner. I hung around and met up with some of the girls that I was slightly acquainted with. I bumped into one of said girls (who was to preform at the studio and was also my classmate in creative writing) and asked her for directions to the Red Ink Studio. Not that those directions, once said, would be accurately remembered, but at least I would know in what general area it was at and then I could go to Mapquest and find the exact directions to write down and take with me.

I decided to fill up my tires first before going to Red Ink. This made me late, but better late than never right?

I walk in about fifteen minutes late. The room was dark, the walls grey. It smelled faintly like in-scents. It smelled like my house when I light my candles and in-scents. The lights were dimmed and a lady was on stage talking about the war and the quest for oil and how it’s affecting our world.

Most of the chairs were taken and so I stood against the wall for about an hour yet I was inthralled at my surrounding that it didn’t bother me at all. A few more people came up and from their lips came out poetry that was music to my ears.

Yet I started getting worried that I had missed out on the girl classmate and my professor’s performance. I could see that Mona was sitting towards the front of the room but she was the only one I noticed from my creative writing class.

Finally, a familiar face came onto the stage. It was was a guy from class. Though he was the second familiar face I saw in the room I did not feel out of place. This was I felt I belonged. Just being able to sit and be entertained by people who were yet to become so well known that their humanity began to fade.

No, these were real human beings. Real people that lived normal lives. Yet their difference was that they were passionate about their work; about their art.

They have yet to hit the point where they become icons and idols only to be worshipped by the young and the ignorant. They have yet to become slaves to the millions that they might receive if they attain fame-hood.

They were normal people just like you and me. And boy were many of them seriously talented.

He read two very short poems. I really liked the one titled ‘Broke’ but the first he read too quickly and so it’s message faded from my memory. Yet, though the second one was just as short as the first, he read it in a way where till now the message behind his words linger in the back of my head.

After that my professor read an essay/story she had written. One I absolutely loved. By this time I had found a stool to sit on and was leaning to the side to rest on the wall. I was in my element.

The story was beautiful and yet sad. And by the time my professor had finished reading her story I was positive that my other classmate had already preformed at the beginning before I arrived. I was disappointed, not because I hadn’t heard her before. I did on two occasions but I hadn’t known her on those two events. And though I didn’t know her back then (a few months ago) her words, her poetry kept replaying in my mind. I liked some, I didn’t like some. But no matter my taste in her poetry I have no right to say anything bad about her work. I only prefer some over the others.

However, it turned out that I was wrong. The girl hadn’t preformed yet. She was up next. The two poems she spoke were ones I had heard before. This disappointed me I think because I was hoping to hear something new. Yet she spoke them in such a beautiful way that the one that I didn’t care too much for sounded beautiful to my ears.

I did not leave the Red Ink until around 11 that night. And I left in high spirits. It was a breath of fresh artistic air to me. To be surrounded by people who loved what I loved. I enjoyed every single second of my time there and will never (hopefully since my memory sucks) forget how amazing it was.

I got to buy the ticket for the next spoken word event that will be taking place on this coming Saturday at the university. I can’t wait to go. I hope it’ll be as awe-inspiring an evening as was my evening at the Red Ink.

MI ::And So The Juggling Begins::

Posted in Michigan, University in America on Monday, January 14, 2008 by dragonsvamp

I survived the first week back at school. A ton has happened since the weekend before starting. Monday seems more of a distant memory than anything now. My day went as usual waking up at around six and picking up my boss’s kids and taking them to school where I work. Then I spent the day being the kindergarten teacher’s assistant. I never seem to get bored from that but boy is it so draining running after 18 kids for the whole day. School finished and all the kids were picked up by four. I had scheduled an appointment, at four thirty, with a councilor and made it just in time. We talked for about fifteen minutes. I was surprised to find that almost all of my courses that I had from my previous university had actually transferred; leaving me with around four classes left to take before I qualified for my specialization. But I am still far from graduating. I still have to complete 11 credits for my general ed and if I want to get my teacher’s certification I still need to take all 8 classes for that and that’s all besides adding a minor (turned major) in Math.

I’ve pretty much got the next two years mapped out for me; even longer if I am unable to study full time. And that’s most likely what’s going to happen because I need to work full time to be able to pay for my education.

My first class was for my Creative Writing course. It was awesome. I’m really going to enjoy this course. We have to complete 300 words a day (which is not a problem with me since I write on this blog at least that amount on average) and we were starting with poetry writing, which is also not that big of a problem for me. Though I’m sure my poetry isn’t really that hot, my acceptance with that fact is what makes me comfortable with sharing my poetry I guess.

After my first class I had to hurry back to the school I work at to give teach the ACT prep course. It’s really difficult getting there within half an hour of my class ending. I’ll have just make the ACT course start a little later and end a little later. The kid’s aren’t too happy about it but what can I do?

Monday’s are going to be my most stressful days this semester. Waking up at around 6 and not getting back home until around 9 at night. Man just looking at that sentence makes me depressed. Yet even though it’s such a long day I’ll be doing things I absolutely love. First helping teach 18 kindergartners, then myself turning into the student, and then teaching older kids. What more could I ask for? (other than a few more hours to fit into the day that is).

I spent a sleepless night after realizing on Monday evening that the class I was signed up for (that was to begin the next evening) was one I didn’t need. This wouldn’t have mattered if I wasn’t so limited in my options. I cannot take more than 40 credits in my specialization and with this semester’s courses I’d have already taken 30. That leaves me with two classes I can take before I’m banned from the English department. And since I wish to take as many writing courses as I can I’m not going to let an unneeded course stand in my way.

I got to the university about half an hour before my unneeded class was to begin (this was achieved by leaving work half an hour early). I had spent my sleepless night trying to find a class I could replace the unneeded one with. I decided I should first try signing up for psychology 100 since it is a requirement for the Teacher’s Certificate program. I found one other class I could take just in case the psychology class turned out to be full.

It happened to be my luck that I this plan B was unneeded. Within half an hour I signed up for the class and headed my way to my babysitting job. Before starting college, I babysat for a friend every Tuesday and since I have cleared my Tuesdays from any university courses I am able to keep this much needed part time job.

Wednesday was just a repeat of Monday without the ACT course and with the addition of my psychology class, which seems like it’s going to be pretty easy. At least I hope so.

I was somewhat nervous about my American Poetry course on Thursday. However, I was nervous for all the wrong reasons. What made me worried was the fact that the last poetry course I had taken was in my first semester of college way back three years ago. And so I was worried at how I would do taking poetry now. I got to class twenty minutes late because I didn’t get off work until late. The students were introducing themselves and after that portion I realized that I was the only undergraduate in the course. This is really not encouraging since I haven’t been in school for a whole year and now I’m taking a course where everyone but me is a graduate student. That’s going to be super hard to measure up with them. And most of them seemed to be very well educated. Most of them are teachers and professionals. A couple, I know are at my level but it just means that I need to step up to the plate and put an even greater effort in matching up with the better students in the course. I wouldn’t mind one speck if it weren’t for my already overfilled plate.

We’ll see how that goes.

UM ::Poet of Nature?::

Posted in University in America with tags , , , , , on Saturday, January 12, 2008 by dragonsvamp

What exactly is a ‘poet of nature’? 

MI ::Classes Decided Upon and The Damage::

Posted in Driving, Michigan with tags , , , , , , , on Monday, January 7, 2008 by dragonsvamp

Well I guess I didn’t have to wait until Monday to find out the damage done to the lady’s car I had rear-ended. She called me yesterday and told me how much her mechanic would take to fix it as opposed to the (supposed) grand or more that a body shop would have taken. Thankfully I had not smashed the lights. I had hit the car just millimeters away from the rear lights. And nothing was wrong with the bumper either. The Land Rover just hit it above the rear bumper.

The damage? Well a great four hundred dollars down the drain. I could understand that if I had been driving recklessly or something but I was making a very slow turn. The car just slid on the ice and I couldn’t control it.

I guess I should have just been slower or something. Or filled up the back tire with air the moment I had noticed instead of waiting to do it afterwards.

Either way I met up with the lady and paid her up today. Thank God I had saved up a bit for school so I am not like in major trouble or anything. I just took money from that saving and used it to pay for the damage. I’ll worry about paying for school when the time comes to worry about it.

Anyways, I stayed up last night until after two in the morning trying to figure out what courses I was going to take. I had signed up with six classes of which I was only going to end up with three.

The classes I have finally decided to take (which are completely different from the ones that I had originally signed up for) are *drum roll please*:

Creative Writing (M/W) 5:30-6:45.
American Naturalism and Realism (T) 4-6:45
American Poetry (Th) 4-6:45

One writing class, one literature class, and one poetry class. Perfect.

I start tomorrow. I’m thrilled to finally be back in school. We’ll see how long that thrilled-ness lasts before it turns to stressed out-ness.

WorkArama ::Internship Interview::

Posted in Work Arama with tags , , , on Sunday, January 6, 2008 by dragonsvamp

With all the mess that happened on Thursday I completely forgot to write about what happened after my car accident.

I was hoping after finishing from getting my ID and stuff done at the university I could get my friend to help me jump my car. So I went to his house and arrived just as his wife did. As I was parking (still shaking from the accident I had just made) my phone started ringing.

It was a number I didn’t recognize and so I thought it was definately the person who owned the car I had hit. I answer. A guy’s voice asks to talk to me. And I let him know that he is talking to me. Then he mentions my application to the internship they had available. I sigh in relief (because I had no idea what to say if he turned out to be the one who owned the car) but as I sighed I also got excited. He said he wanted to interview me over the phone and if it was the right time. I told him I was just parking and getting inside so if he gave me ten minutes and called me back I’d be ready.

I helped my friend and the kids get the groceries in and as I did so I let her know that I had gotten in an accident (it’s their car I was driving). It was freezing outside.

Ten minutes passed.

No call.

Then maybe half an hour passed because we were almost done putting away the food and were talking in the kitchen.

My phone started ringing. I get it out of my pocket.

I answer. It was another friend’s mom letting me know that she wouldn’t be able to pick up the animals i was pet sitting for her over the break that night. And I told her that was fine since I wasn’t at home to begin with. As she was talking my phone was letting me know that I was getting another line.

I look at the screen and right enough it’s the internship dude. So I hurry up off the line with my friend’s mom and answer the other line just in time.

The interview, I think went pretty well, it’s for the internship available in California with two newspaper companies. The guy said that during the summer they get up to 800 people from all over the world applying for the positions available.

I don’t doubt it. But I’m sure 75% percent of those applicants don’t meet the requirements and needs of the newspaper (and thats a conservative estimate). And I know for a fact that I have at least 90% of what they want. I’m not being boastful but if there’s 800 people applying for a handful of positions and I got interviewed that means I must be from the few they were actually considering.

The guy ended the interview by telling me that they’ll be making a decision within 48 hours but might take a while to notify me because my position wouldn’t start for another few months.

Hopefully, I did well enough to land myself the job. During the interview I found out that I could start working from Michigan and so my doubts of being able to complete the full 15 weeks limit isn’t a problem.

Wish me luck!

MI ::Snow, School ID, and No Fault Insurance::

Posted in Michigan, University in America with tags , , , , , , on Saturday, January 5, 2008 by dragonsvamp

Wednesday, which should have been the first day back at work (regular school), was in fact canceled because of the amount of snow that had fallen two days prior. We got an extra day off of work. On Thursday I woke up to see that the weather outside was the coldest it’s been since winter started. 3 degrees but feeling like -2 because of the wind chill.

On Wednesday I had gone out to pick up my printer (which came free with my camera) and so had spent half an hour digging my car out of a foot of snow. This proved a good idea because though I was running early on Thursday I wasn’t running early enough to spend half an hour digging my car out. And besides Wednesday was much ‘warmer’ than Thursday morning. So I get in my snowless car and try to turn it on.

It sputters.

I try again thinking it’s just the super cold that is making the car take too long to turn on. But then I realized the batteries were dead.

Again.

So I call up a friend telling her that I can’t start my car so I can’t get her kids. She woke her husband up and told him to come help me. After half an hour or so he stopped by with his jumper cables and tried to open the hood.

I say tried because the hood wouldn’t open for the life of both of us.

It was frozen shut.

I end up getting a ride to work and then borrowing my friend’s Land Rover later on to go to the university to pick up my school ID (the picture turned out to be pretty decent actually) and parking permit. I was in and out within half an hour and was ready to go home and hit the keis (or in other words go to sleep). I was exhausted.

I had woken up the night before at 2 am and couldn’t fall back asleep until fifteen minutes before it was time to get up and go to work. So obviously I was very tired.

I noticed that one of the back wheels on the land rover was really low on air. Almost flat. And realized that was why it was so difficult driving it and keeping control of the wheel.

I got out of the parking lot and was making a right turn. A pretty wide slow right turn only to find that my car was sliding.

Straight into a small maroon Buick which was parallel parked along the street. I slammed on the break but it didn’t work and I went straight into the back corner of it. I instantly reversed and parallel parked behind the car.

I was shaking.

I started driving a over a year ago in October 2006 and this was my first accident. The first thing that popped into my head was ‘Thank God there wasn’t a pile of little kids in the car!’ Then next thought was ‘Thank God it wasn’t moving when I hit it.’

I had no idea what to do though because there was no one in the car. A bystander came over and I rolled down my window. He was like ‘Are you ok?’ I was like yeah. Then he mentioned that nothing was wrong with my car. And I looked at him and was like ‘If someone had hit my car I would want them to let me know! I’m not just going to hit and run.’

So I called a friend up and he was like just put a note on the car with your name and number and they’ll contact you. I did that. But I, also, whipped out my camera and took pictures of the damage.

The Land Rover wasn’t even scratched.

As I was driving back the teacher I work with called me and I told her what had just happened and she explained to me that in Michigan the insurance is ‘No Fault’. Meaning that depending on your insurance if anything happens to your car your insurance will cover it.

That is if you have your car covered. The bare minimum here just covers the people in the car and not the car itself. So the insurance you have covers you. No matter if it’s your fault or not.

But either way I wouldn’t want to cause hardship on someone who uses that car as their livelihood and so they’ll be put back if they end up having to pay for the damage when they didn’t cause it. The lady that owns the car called me on Friday and said she was going to take it to a mechanic and see how much it ends up costing to fix. Then she’ll let me know.

She really stressed, though, how much she appreciated me putting that note on her car and letting her know it was me that hit it. That in itself made me feel so good. Even though this might put me in a very hard situation financial wise (depending how much it’ll cost to repair) it was my fault and so I need to be responsible about it. And hopefully if anyone were to hit my car I’d hope they’d feel the same way.

Later on I was told if the car had been moving when I hit it I would definitely have totaled it. Just from the sheer size and power of the Land Rover. So though it’s not a good thing to get in an accident this was much better than what could have been. So I’m thankful for that.

I still am using the Land Rover. Haven’t gotten time to get my car jumped yet but the first thing I did after that was put air in the tires. It’s so much easier to control now.

I’m going to have to wait till Monday at least to find out how huge that damage is going to cause my wallet.

Random ::New Year::

Posted in RandomVille on Tuesday, January 1, 2008 by dragonsvamp

It snowed all night yesterday and I woke up a few hours ago to see the snow piled inches thick outside. A beautiful new year’s gift if I say so myself. The new year is here and over with already. Unebelievable. Usually I take the evening off before and just let things sink. Think of what I’ve done that year that’s finishing off and what I plan to do for the year to come. Not really resolutions but more like just putting what I’ve been thinking in my unconscious into my conscious so that it’s in black and white and no longer grey area anymore.   

This year however, it seems as though the new year just barged in and didn’t give me much time to think. I guess I was too busy reading that midnight rolled over and before I knew it people were telling me happy new year and I was like ‘already?!’Of course already. Time’s not going to wait for you. It’s not going to wait for anyone. And so you either hop on the bullet train or you just stay behind and mope. I decided to hop on.

And yet it’s almost four in the afternoon and I still haven’t had that moment to myself. I don’t know why. I just hope it doesn’t stay like this for the rest of the year. This year, 2008, will probably be one of the busiest years of my life.I’ll be turning 20 and leaving my teenage years far behind. It’s weird. I still feel as though I should be 17. I always liked being 17 years old. It was the perfect age. Not too old and experienced but not too young and inexperienced. But the 20s sounds like a nice transition. I need to shed away my past and keep it there. Keep my past in the past and now I need to look forward to the future and what it may hold and of course not forget about the present.

I’ll be going back to school. Finally. It’s been exactly a year since I left my schooling behind me and started working full time. I’m going to try and go full time. Hopefully that won’t be too heavy a load. Full time work and then full time school and then an extra part time job. I must say I’m really looking forward to being a student again instead of being the teacher and the one in charge. I miss the days when I would start writing stories and poetry because my class was so boring. Or when I’d fall asleep in class. Or when I’d play games with my friends on my notebook and pass notes to one another while in class. But I also miss taking new things and listening to the teachers, who are passionate about what they do, teach.

I’ve already set in motion what I plan on doing during the summer (Inshaallah). I want to intern in the publishing/journalism area and have already sent my applications. I’ve also turned in my fafsa (which still needs some work but it’s for the next school year so I have some time) and got my financial aid application for the spring and summer semesters turned in. I also turned in all my essays and applications for the scholarships and aid for the university.

I also want to get my fingers on the school newspaper. And maybe one day get in far enough to edit it. Then I wouldn’t have to work full time because I’d have my tuition paid for me if I get the editing job (which should be opening in the fall at least if not the summer since the editor right now is graduating) so fingers crossed on that.

So pretty much all I need to do now is focus on school, work, and my side teaching ACT job. And of course balance my account so that I don’t end up in debt or anything and that includes at the moment finding a decent place to live at that isn’t too expensive.

I guess I didn’t have to sit down with myself and make a plan like I’ve done for so many years now. It’s all already set out for me. My work for this year is all cut out for me. All I have to do now is not waste my time (I’m the queen of wasting time) and get things done when they need to be done.